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Thorlabs partners with Howard Hughes Medical Institute to commercialise 2-photon mesoscope

Thorlabs has entered into a licensing agreement with Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to commercialise the 2-photon random access mesoscope (2p-RAM) developed in Karel Svoboda’s lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus for in vivoimaging of large brain volumes (up to 5 x 1mm) with single neuron resolution.

Even for the simplest animal behaviours, there are a large number of neurons operating in concert over multiple areas of the brain. With currently available high-resolution, two-photon microscopes, it is possible to image the activity of individual neurons in awake, behaving mammals but the field of view is small (<1mm), limiting our understanding of neural activity within multiple regions of the brain.

With large-field-of-view microscopes, it is possible to image the entire brain, but individual neurons cannot be resolved, particularly in the axial direction. The ongoing research efforts in the Svoboda lab have been aimed at overcoming the hardware and software challenges that currently limit our understanding of neural circuits through the development of a mesoscale two-photon microscope capable of subcellular resolution over a field of view that spans multiple brain areas.

'I’m thrilled to be part of the commercialisation of a technology capable of providing an imaging volume that is approximately 100X larger than what is currently available for microscopes with comparable resolution,' said Jeff Brooker, Global Life Science CTO of the Thorlabs Imaging Research Group. 'The 2p-RAM... will facilitate the research endeavours of those working at the forefront of neural imaging in the intact brain.'

Thorlabs expects to have the 2p-RAM mesoscope available for sale starting in Q1 2017. The microscope will also be incorporated into one of its demonstrations at the upcoming 2016 Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

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